The Word Distiller
Me + Some Technical support
Auckland, New Zealand
Today my female entrepreneur is the great Kirsten Back – a founder of The Word Distiller. Kirsten is a copywriter who teaches course creators, coaches & consultants how to write copy for their businesses.
Apart from having a number of master’s degrees, Kirsten is a great strategist. Her ability to connect the dots has been helpful in setting up her business. Driven by her love for writing, she started her company in 2014, a time when she was clueless about key business areas such as niching, branding and mindset among others.
This was not easy as she even ventured into a year of consulting until she found her sweet spot in developing a copywriting course to help other entrepreneurs. Being in a new country and with no money to either run the business or hire any professionals, she had to start from scratch and earn money doing odd jobs.
In this interview, Kirsten is sharing her entrepreneurial endeavors, how she started and the key challenges along the way.
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE BUSINESS YOU STARTED?
Hi, my name is Kirsten. I am a strategist and connect the dots where others see chaos, a learner – because I love quality and want to have a cutting-edge programme, a spotter of talent & opportunity – so that I can inspire others & create new opportunities.
I am a nerd who relishes geeky conversations with other nerds on topics that most find strange and an activator who takes action (and makes others take action) rather than waiting for things to happen.
That didn’t make me the perfect employee even though I spent long years in the corporate world, climbed the ladder, and then got dumped quite harshly.
And that was the perfect opportunity for someone with heaps of business experience, a couple of Master’s degrees (one for Russian & English Literature & Linguistics + an MBA) as well as a copywriting diploma, and a few other qualifications to boot.
Yes, I really love learning!
I love everything about business and words – so, becoming a copywriter was the perfect fit – and creating an online programme to help other entrepreneurs grow their businesses was the natural result.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
PLEASE DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS.
I started my copywriting business in 2014 and despite my fancy MBA, I was completely clueless about niching, branding, mindset.
You see, I always loved writing, and after years of working in large corporations, I really needed to be my own boss, doing things on my own terms and doing what I love. For me, it’s always been about quality, simplicity, and maximum impact.
My business name “The Word Distiller” came to me on a doggie walk (that’s how I escape to get some headspace).
It reflected all that copywriting was about for me:
– purity – no waffle, no fluff – only purpose and goals – great impact – like a good punch to the stomach – only without the pain but with the kind of attention you get when you do it 🙂 – refining until it’s (almost) perfect.
I started my business from scratch in a new country with more or less zero budget. The only money that I had to put into the business came from walking other people’s dogs and crocheting some merino beanies.
Since I am a learner, I like to figure stuff out by myself. I didn’t have money to hire any professionals either. So I had to learn everything from marketing and accounting to networking, branding, web design (cringe), and niching by myself.
There wasn’t much feedback in the beginning because I was pretty clueless about how I was going to implement my lofty goals. But I got some great clients (and a few not so great ones) to get me going and to learn, learn, learn…
My entrepreneurial journey took a few about turns (I even did a year of business consulting) until I totally found my perfect spot and developed my online course to teach other entrepreneurs how to write their own copy. I strongly believe that this is how I can help other entrepreneurs best – how I can have the greatest impact.
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE AND HOW DO YOU STAY PRODUCTIVE?
I get up at 5.30 am, spend 15-30 minutes on my mindset, and planning my day. Then I get my kids up and ready for school, walk my dogs, and start working.
Usually, I plan my day in a way that I can be most efficient and focused. I do my creative stuff in the mornings – or things that need great focus and brainpower – and the easier stuff that doesn’t need so much focus later on.
The afternoons are reserved for chauffeuring my teenagers to their various activities, training my dogs, shopping etc. In the evenings I usually have workouts, dinner, sometimes a movie with my husband, but also more work or some reading. I keep up my energy by eating healthy, exercising, and trying to get enough sleep.
WHAT STRATEGY DID YOU USE TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS? AND HOW?
As a copywriter who works with clients 1:1, there is very little room for scaling the business. There are only 24 hours in a day and the only way to make more profit is by working more or increasing rates.
That’s one reason why I decided to develop an online course. That way, I can serve more people and, of course, grow my business.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS?
My online programme is just kicking off, and I’m planning to grow it into my main source of income. My plan is to retire my husband and give him the opportunity to start his own business.
RECOMMENDATIONS & FINAL THOUGHTS
PLEASE RECOMMEND ANY RESOURCES AND TOOLS THAT YOU USE TO RUN YOUR BUSINESS.
My new love is a new all-in-one platform called New Zenler. It hosts online courses but also your website and takes care of all your digital marketing.
The price is just phenomenal, and I love it.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BUSINESS BOOKS, PODCASTS OR BLOGS?
I have tons of books I read and love.
Currently, my favourites are:
- James Clear’s “Atomic Habits“,
- Paul Jarvis “Company Of One“,
- Carol Dweck “Mindset“,
- Gary Keller “The One Thing“,
- Mel Robbins “The 5 Second Rule“,
- Margaret Mark “The Hero and the Outlaw“.
I love listening to Amy Porterfield’s podcast and Mel Robbins for inspiration.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO WANT TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
Just do it, and if you want to do it right and fast – get some coaching.
Welcome to the Biz Ladies interview series!
If you’re new to these series, I interview women entrepreneurs on how they started their business, what was the idea behind it, how they got where they are, the struggles, the reality and more.
By sharing their stories, we want to inspire other women to get started.
If you are interested to share your own story on the Biz Ladies LET ME KNOW!